The archipelago of Indonesia comprises of a total of 17,504 islands that are officially listed. The moderate climate that is clearly demarcated as wet season and dry season with no extremes of either summer or winter makes it ideal as a travel destination. With just about 6000 island inhabited, this archipelago is home to three of world’s biggest islands namely Java, Sumatra and Barneo.
The archipelago has some of the most beautiful beaches, vibrant culture, oriental cuisine and exotic volcanoes that makes this a very sought after travel destination for people from all over the world. Broadly, there are six major islands that are worth mentioning about – namely, Sunda Islands, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Maluku Island and New Guinea. However, the real treasure trove lies in some of the smaller pockets. Let’s take a dive to find out.
The breathtaking Indonesian islands
Bali is one of the most sought after travel destinations in the world for being home to diverse landscapes, forests, gorgeous beaches and a vibrant spiritual culture. Oriental cultures have a beautiful essence that sets it apart from the rest of the world. And that essence can be experience at its best in Bali. The culture of this soil is the emblem of tripartite concept called Tri Hita Karana which means a beautiful harmony between man, God and the environment. This beautiful understanding of life being at the core of the culture that they hold on to even today, Bali has, at equal tandem progressed with time to be at par with the rest of the world in every aspect.
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The cultural hub of Bali, Ubud has been home to the royal families of Bali. The amazing landscapes, lofty mountains and a flourishing art and crafts centre, this place is a must visit for every traveler.
3. Mount Batur
One of the most visited volcanic sites, the trek trip to the top of Mount Batur is grueling as well as worth it for the sheer view of the still-active volcano. To be able to be on the top during sunrise or sunset will be an incredible experience.
4. Raja Ampat Islands
Raja Ampat Islands fall under the Papua region of Indonesia and comprises of more than 600 small, individual islands with four major isles namely Waigeo, Misoo, Bantana and Salawati. Being one of the major sites best known for its biodiversity, this is one of the popular spots for scuba diving, snorkeling and bird watching.
5. Gili Islands
Yet another paradise for scuba divers and honeymooners alike, Gili Islands have garnered a lot of name and fame among travelers from all over the world. Gili Trawangan and Gili Air being the largest of all the Gili Islands have evolved to be one of best sites for surfing, scuba diving and relaxing while Gili Meno has been an all time favourite as a romantic destination.
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Home to the most exotic Bunaken National Marrine Park with 70 per cent of the entire fish species reserve in the whole of Indo-Western Pacific Ocean, Baunaken Island is invariable the top of the chart for scuba divers and snorkelers. This place is also famous for its local liquor named Cap Tikus.
7. Flores Island
The vivid glories of nature in its full manifestation can be experienced in the Flores Island. Situated in one of the lesser Sunda Islands, Flores provides the best views of the landscape. Also the most popular approach to the Komodo National Park which gives the tourist a sneek peek into the natural abode of the Komodo dragons. The other attraction in Flores Island is the changing colors of the water in the crater lakes on Mount Kelimutu.
Suggested Read: A Tour Guide To The Java Island in Indonesia
8. Banda Island
Banda Islands in South Maluku is best known for spices particularly nutmeg. Years of foreign dominance by Portuguese, Dutch and British has given its culture a unique signature. It is also the seat for the highest peak in the whole of Indonesia – Gunung Api. Much like any other island, it is famous various hiking and other water sports such as surfing, snorkeling and scuba diving.
9. Bangka-Belitung Islands
The most gorgeous beaches are to be found in the Bangka-Belitung Islands. The virgin beaches are yet to experience the influx of heavy tourism driven traffic to mar its pristine beauty. Some of the other highlights include the pug marks of the Dutch colonialism in its architecture and lighthouses build in the 19th century.
10. Wakatobi Islands
Yet another beach destination that is yet to experience heavy footfall of the tourists is the small archipelago of the Wakatobi Islands. It is best known to be the most popular diving destinations – the best among the lot being Pulau Tomia which offers a sneak peek into its staggering marine life and Pulau Hoga for its vibrant coral reefs.
If you have had enough of the beach activities and want to delve a little into the cultural aspects of Indonesia, you should head towards Yogyakarta. Here, you get to see and experience the vibrant crafts and the awesome oriental cuisine. With Mount Merapi at its back and the vast Indian ocean lying ahead of it, Yogyakarta is undeniably one of the most picturesque sites. However, the main attraction is its vibrant culture, remains of the ancient temples and the myths and legends that come alive through their dance shows and artwork.
Suggested Read: 10 Holiday Homes In Indonesia For A Laid Back Island Vacation
12. Ternate Island
Ternate is one of the Maluku Islands which had once been the sole supplier for nutmeg, mace, cloves and many other rare spices. Apart from the breathtaking landscapes of Sulamadaha Beach and the awe inspiring Volcano Gamalama, it is spot for great interest for history enthusiasts as they can delve deep into the colonial reminiscences of Portugal, Dutch and Spanish reign on this land. Important landmarks include Fort Ornaje and Fort Tolukko.
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